Hey Brides!!! We want to help you on this journey of dress shopping. You've got that beautiful ring on your finger and now it's time to shop. But what should you expect? Will it be stressful? Will you know it's the one? This is that moment in your life that you want everything to be perfect. And while we love a good episode of "Say Yes to The Dress" and scanning Pinterest until we drop, in our opinion, these resources can also set a bride for disillusionment, frustration or even unreal expectations.
So we wanted to take quick minute between Bridal Appointments to share some of our top tips to make the process not only fulfilling, but memorable, AND most importantly fun!
1.) Bring Only The People You Want to the Appointment! Bring who will support you, encourage you and give you that boost of confidence. This is different for every bride. Some brides come completely alone, others bring just their mom (or a mother figure), while some bring the whole, huge entourage. Your comfort and how you wish your appointment day to go should be up to you though. You should be able to set a boundary on who you want to bring. BUT if you have a mom that tends to be negative or a little critical and of course want her with you, just determine that you won't let her get you down. An excellent Bridal Consultant will be able to encourage you and support you and lovingly keep you mom (or Sister or Negative Nancy Friend) in check!
2.) Consider Keeping the Toddlers at Home! We get it, you want to include everyone. Maybe it's your child, or your flower girl thats only 3 or 4 years old. It could be your niece or nephew that your sister wants to bring. While there is no real taboo or policies on this at Bridal Boutiques, we find that the toddlers or young school aged children get bored, tired and sometimes irritable. This can set you up for frustration, distraction, or nerves. But again the appointment is really all about you and your comfort. If you love kids and some whining or running around doesn't phase you, then by all means bring the little sweeties!
These girls are too cute.... but sometimes the kiddos can't tolerate being cooped up for the entirety of the appointment.
Photo from Naomi Ruth Photography
3.) Dress For Success! Most high quality Boutiques will have Stylists or Consultants getting you in and out of dresses. While the super modest or body conscience bride might find this unnerving, we promise you will get comfortable with us! But if you typically love wearing any type of shape-wear garments, then go ahead and bring it with you. A nice strapless bra might have you feeling super confident until you are ready to shed the bra for seeing how that completely cutout back will look (Pro Tip: Seamstresses can sew in Bra Cups for those “no bra’ type designs). We suggest bringing along a nice pair of shoes in a heel height that you envision wearing on your wedding day. Towards the end of an appointment when you start narrowing it down to your few favorites, throwing on a heel can go a long way in helping you clarify how you feel in a dress! While we wouldn’t suggest having a full trial hair and makeup done prior to your appointment, we do say that a little attention to makeup and your hair being somewhat fixed also helps tremendously while seeing your self in Bridal Gowns.
4.) Be Honest With Your Consultant! Listen, we are here to serve you! A Bridal Stylists (if he/she is a good one) only wants the very best for you on your dress journey. Be honest if you have a body issue you are concerned with, like a scar, a medial device, a tattoo Grandma doesn’t know you have, or anything of that nature. We are here to pull the best styles. But we will ask you to get outside your comfort zone if you are just a little worried about your flabby arms! You might be surprised with an uncovered arm style after all. This honesty also comes to your Bridal Style Investment. We typically hate to use the term “Dress Budget”. But money is money and we don’t want you spending more than you need to. We say a dress and the entire Bridal look is an INVESTMENT. Be honest about this with your Stylist. She does really want to help you stay within this price point so you can invest your other money in fantastic flowers, yummy food and fun music to keep your celebration going.
Our Bridal Stylists, Kristy and Keri having a fun appointment. Dress Shopping doesn't have to be stressful!
Photo by Meagan Jordan Photography
5.) Keep Your Inspiration Pictures to a Minimum! A Stylist may ask you if you have pictures. OR You may be dying to show her your Pinterest Wedding Board. This is a great resource for Brides. But we highly encourage you to really consider this a resource, inspiration, or a way of communication for you. Many times Pinterest is filled with photos that are very unrealistic. It might be a photo of a dress that you see that is not even available in the USA. Or it may be photographed in a way that is very stylized or photo shopped. You would be surprised how many times we see brides that want all the pouf, glitz, glam and bling possible and then walk out ordering a very streamlined, modern dress with not one ounce of embellishment. And Vice Versa!
6.) Give Your Self Plenty of Time… But Don’t Stress If You Don’t Have It! So we know you have probably heard that you need 9 months to a year for ordering you dress. But we are here to clarify this just a little bit for you! We really do love seeing brides shop for their dresses as soon as possible so that they have all the options and resources available to them and can check that huge part of the wedding planning off their list. But honestly you can special order a dress with just 4 months or so. You will always want factor in for 6-8 weeks on alterations, so that needs to be considered. Most Bridal Shops have a plethora of designers they have to offer. Each designer or manufacturer has different delivery timelines. Sometimes you can special order a gown and it’s ready to ship to your Boutique in one- two weeks. Some designers have limited availability and each gown is custom cut and will take 4- 6 months. And many Boutiques can offer wonderful gowns off the rack and you will be taking them home that day. This is especially great for brides that plan to get married fairly quickly.
Yes girl! That dress is amazing!
Photo by Meagan Jordan Photography
7.) Don’t Book Too Many Appointments… Especially In One Day Or Weekend! So again we will highlight that the Social Media Influencers, Pinterest and Wedding Reality TV Shows will make you feel as though you should leave no stone unturned. Or that shopping at 5 places is part of “the experience”. But you will just tell you that Dress Shopping can be tiring. Sometimes it’s emotional. Sometimes it’s frustrating. No one wants to multiply that several times, especially in one day. Our recommendation is to make one appointment as a really quality boutique. If you really don’t connect to a dress and you really don’t find the one, then schedule something some place else on a different day.
8.) AND....Once You Find The Gown, Stop Looking! This might sound like a HUGE duhh. But really, do not for one-second rethink your decision. All Bridal Gowns are “All Sales Final”. Once your gown is ordered, move on to other big and equally fun details of the wedding planning. Think about it like this; when your fiancé proposed and you said yes and were so happy, did you keep looking for a better fiancé? Nope! Or at least we hope not. Trust your gut. Trust that feeling of light and airiness you felt in your step on that day your chose your dress (we promise that sparkle and pep in your step tells us, the professionals, that it’s the one).
We want to cheer you on and be your support!
9.) Last but not least.... HAVE FUN! We, here at Laurel Wreath Bridal, are ready to cheer you on and celebrate with you!
That "Im so happy I found my Gown feeling!"
Photo by Naomi Ruth Photography
Cheers to the dress shopping and becoming a "Laurel Bride"!
Photo by Naomi Ruth Photography